Manufacturing in the UK

Wrong . . . and right . . . at the same time ;)

+There is a (15 year old), designe office included, rather uncertain (and seemingly embarrased) that there "are ten or so of us" . . .

There is WMG "an international leader in successful collaboration between academia and the private and public sectors, driving innovation in applied science, technology and engineering", but your have to go to their sown web-site to discover . . .

"WMG is an academic department at the University of Warwick and is the leading international role model for successful collaboration between academia and the public and private sectors, driving innovation in science, technology and engineering, to develop the brightest ideas and talent that will shape our future".

About the Group

MAN (Manufacturing Assembly Network) is a collaboration of complementary UK manufacturers and provides a single source engineering and manufacturing solution for customers involved in numerous industry sectors.
By combining world class expertise in every manufacturing discipline imaginable, MAN has a proven track record of helping its clients reduce costs, bring new products to market and offer security of supply.
TBH I wasn’t really looking at the specific companies, more the general concept of a cooperative of business. It’s not unusual; it’s a concept I’ve seen working in my partners industry.

The collaboration can be anything from low level mutual assistance through to quite deep integration. It can vertical or horizontal or a mix of both.

One thing that I think common to all of these is that the companies form some sort of independent coordination organisation that pulls the strings together.
 
DELETE: horizontal
(Acquisition of/merger with, competitors).

INSERT: vertical
(Integration from mining the ore, smelting the iron/steel, machining the blanks/ingots, assembling/finishing the components, packaging/distributing the finished product, sales/customer care . . . In total, and exaggerated for affect).
Correct - it's Sunday morning - and I wasn't awake! Need more tea before I can tell me up from me down!
 
TBH I wasn’t really looking at the specific companies, more the general concept of a cooperative of business. It’s not unusual; it’s a concept I’ve seen working in my partners industry.

The collaboration can be anything from low level mutual assistance through to quite deep integration. It can vertical or horizontal or a mix of both.

One thing that I think common to all of these is that the companies form some sort of independent coordination organisation that pulls the strings together.
Yes, @Yokel 's original post mentions that the bosses of two of the member firms, have been appointed to fulfil this function . . .

"MAN has also announced the appointment of new Co-Chairmen to oversee the continued recovery and to expand the capabilities of the group even further.

Peter Davies, CEO of James Lister & Sons, and Grove Design’s Austin Owens have jointly taken over at the helm, with the duo keen to look at how they maximise the different engineering disciplines of members".


 
Pubished by: Joe Holding, AUTOCAR magazine, on 15 July 2021.

Planning application submitted for Coventry EV battery factory.

Firms behind proposals say facility could boost regional economy by £434 million and create 6000 jobs.

A planning application for a battery gigafactory situated at Coventry Airport has been submitted, with the result set to be decided by Warwick District Council and Coventry City Council later this year.


The plan was submitted by a newly formed joint venture partnership between Coventry City Council and Coventry Airport, which claim the proposals would deliver 5.7 million square feet of space for EV battery production and recycling, adding £434 million in gross value to the regional economy.

The proposal also claims that 6000 new jobs will be created, with tens of thousands added to the supply chain, and that the factory will be powered by 100% green energy, including solar and wind power.
The applicants say too that Coventry Airport is an ideal location for an EV battery factory, because it's adjacent to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre, which is the UK’s largest battery research centre.

“It's mission critical that the West Midlands secures a gigafactory, both for the future of our region’s automotive industry and the huge economic and job benefits it would bring, as well as the future of our planet,” said West Midlands mayor Andy Street.

“The West Midlands is already home to the country’s biggest car manufacturer, Europe’s largest research centre of its kind, the UK’s only battery industrialisation centre and a world-leading supply chain. A gigafactory therefore is the natural next step for the UK’s automotive heartland, and I will not rest until we have secured one."

The proposed factory has also been backed by local MPs, Warwick District Council, Warwickshire County Council, the West Midlands Combined Authority and the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

The plans come as Nissan also recently announced it would produce EV batteries in Sunderland, while start-up company Britishvolt plans to open its own gigafactory in Blyth, Northumberland, in 2023.

A third of all cars produced in the UK are produced in the West Midlands by companies including Aston Martin, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover.

The UK government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and with car makers increasingly switching to EVs to reduce emissions, the need for an EV battery factory in this country is growing rapidly.

The government has also faced increasing pressure to support the development of EV battery production, following reports from the Confederation of British Industry and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders that called for progress before the UK potentially falls behind European competitors.

“Coventry has emerged as a world-leader in battery technology,” said Coventry City Council leader George Duggins. “The city is home to the UK Battery Industrialisation Centre [and] world-leading research institutions, and it’s clear to me that Coventry is the right location.

“Coventry Airport sits at the heart of this powerful automotive research cluster and is the obvious location for a UK gigafactory. Our joint-venture partnership is unique in the UK, and it creates a strong platform to attract investment and deliver more than 4000 new jobs, support our automotive sector and secure our competitive advantage.”

No timescale has been placed on the construction of the Coventry battery factory, although project bosses are hoping that it will be operational by 2025.

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Posted on this "manufacturing-in-the-uk" thread, and on also the "what-would-make-you-buy-an-electric-car" thread.
 

Yokel

LE
This article at Policy Exchange may be of interest to some:

The UK government and intervention - Dr Gerard Lyons

The conclusion - There is always a role for the public sector to play in any economy. This should not be at the expense of the private sector. It does not justify increased higher government spending and taxes as in fact the opposite is called for. A vibrant private sector is necessary for any economy to succeed. Even China is demonstrating that, as it opens-up. The most successful economies, where income standards rise and tax revenues help fund public spending are driven by the private sector.
 
Published by: Jack Warrick, AUTOCAR magazine, on 20 July 2021.

GKN Automotive developing modular 800V electric drivetrains.

UK firm says new technologies provide faster charging times, increased driving range and higher performance.

British engineering firm GKN Automotive will ramp up development of its next-generation electric powertrain hardware, because of the increasing demand for EVs.

The automotive components supplier will accelerate production of new 'eDrive' technologies using 800V electrics, which the firm says allows for faster charging times, increased driving range and higher levels of performance.

The company’s eDrive system has been in use for more than 20 years and already powers more than 1.5 million vehicles worldwide, with systems found in both electric and hybrid vehicles.

“Global demand for EVs is accelerating fast, and now is the perfect time for GKN Automotive to underpin its leadership in eDrive systems through next-generation technologies,” said GKN Automotive CEO Liam Butterworth.

“These high-tech 800V systems will create faster charging cars with better battery range, improved driving performance and even greater efficiencies.

"GKN Automotive intends to continue delivering an increasingly electrified future."

GKN Automotive says future 800V systems are in an advanced stage of development and are currently being tested in real-world conditions. It believes improved efficiencies “could lead to car makers opting to use smaller batteries to reduce vehicle cost, complexity and weight”.

Development is being supported by the firm's partnership with the Jaguar Racing team in Formula E, where testing helps to improve several system capabilities.

“Constant testing to improve efficiency, performance and extending the range of batteries in the ultra-competitive world of electric motorsport creates a direct link from race to road,” the firm said.

“Cutting-edge developments currently being developed for Jaguar Racing will likely be available on near-future road cars in just three years.”

The move forward comes after GKN Automotive announced the decision to close its Birmingham factory back in January, resulting in the loss of 519 jobs.

The company operates in 20 countries, employing a total of around 27,500 people worldwide.

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Posted on the "what-would-make-you-buy-an-electric-car" thread, and also on this "Manufacturing in the UK" thread.
 

Yokel

LE
Also on an electric vehicle theme:

Alexander Dennis secures order from Ireland for up to 200 electric buses

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD UK have announced that their electric vehicle partnership, the UK’s leading electric bus producer, has signed a framework agreement with the National Transport Authority of Ireland (NTA) for the delivery of up to 200 BYD ADL Enviro200EV zero emission battery-electric buses. An initial firm order for 45 buses was agreed at the same time, with delivery commencing in 2022.

The single supplier framework agreement with the NTA will run for up to five years and covers the delivery of single deck long length battery-electric buses. The BYD ADL partnership, represented by ADL as primary contractor, was selected in a comprehensive and rigorous procurement process in which the company provided the strongest offer. It is the BYD ADL partnership’s first contract in Ireland as well as the largest order for zero emission buses in the country to date.


I am sure the doom mongers said that BREXIT meant that the UK would be unable to trade with Ireland...
 
Also on an electric vehicle theme:

Alexander Dennis secures order from Ireland for up to 200 electric buses

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD UK have announced that their electric vehicle partnership, the UK’s leading electric bus producer, has signed a framework agreement with the National Transport Authority of Ireland (NTA) for the delivery of up to 200 BYD ADL Enviro200EV zero emission battery-electric buses. An initial firm order for 45 buses was agreed at the same time, with delivery commencing in 2022.

The single supplier framework agreement with the NTA will run for up to five years and covers the delivery of single deck long length battery-electric buses. The BYD ADL partnership, represented by ADL as primary contractor, was selected in a comprehensive and rigorous procurement process in which the company provided the strongest offer. It is the BYD ADL partnership’s first contract in Ireland as well as the largest order for zero emission buses in the country to date.


I am sure the doom mongers said that BREXIT meant that the UK would be unable to trade with Ireland...
Germany and the EU won't like that
 

Yokel

LE
Here is more what I intended this thread for, some good news for manufacturing industry in general, at least in my part of the UK. It is also from MTD MFG.

Manufacturing Barometer explores supply chain price changes and raw material issues

Following a quicker than expected recovery across the industry, current barriers to growth is the main focus of the latest Manufacturing Barometer, organised by SWMAS (the South West Manufacturing Advisory Service) and supported by the Manufacturing Growth Programme (MGP).

Exclusively for companies employing less than 250 people, the UK’s largest survey of SME manufacturers will explore supply chain price changes and raw material availability – two common pain points for businesses over the last six months.

More than 300 eligible firms are expected to have their say on the other challenges they are facing, including inflation, managing volatile demand, logistics, and recruitment.

It also offers them the chance to influence the current landscape by reporting on their sales, investment and job intentions going forward.

Nick Golding, Managing Director of SWMAS, commented: “The bounce back has been much faster than many of us expected and that was reflected in the last Barometer, with 58% of companies expecting to increase investment and 54% looking to take on more staff to meet increasing customer demand.
 
Also on an electric vehicle theme:

Alexander Dennis secures order from Ireland for up to 200 electric buses

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) and BYD UK have announced that their electric vehicle partnership, the UK’s leading electric bus producer, has signed a framework agreement with the National Transport Authority of Ireland (NTA) for the delivery of up to 200 BYD ADL Enviro200EV zero emission battery-electric buses. An initial firm order for 45 buses was agreed at the same time, with delivery commencing in 2022.

The single supplier framework agreement with the NTA will run for up to five years and covers the delivery of single deck long length battery-electric buses. The BYD ADL partnership, represented by ADL as primary contractor, was selected in a comprehensive and rigorous procurement process in which the company provided the strongest offer. It is the BYD ADL partnership’s first contract in Ireland as well as the largest order for zero emission buses in the country to date.


I am sure the doom mongers said that BREXIT meant that the UK would be unable to trade with Ireland...
Alexander [of Falkirk] Dennis [of Guildford] now owned by Canadians [New Flyer Industries]
 
Who cares as long as they invest into the UK.

True - and NFI are in the bus and heavy haul business - if you have to have an overseas owner you couldn't want for better. NFI are also into investing, expanding and developing the sector. Better than owner wanting knock out competitors or [shudder] private equity

Did wonder if Alexanders had an easier time of it because of the existing Canadian trade agreements they have with EU and continuity trade deals with the UK?

It also asks the question why could we not find the investment ourselves? Are we investment pool poor? Are we overly risk averse or looking for tax breaks as a condition (like Dyson) Does our financial sector look the wrong way more interested in offshore funds to pick random ripe plums worldwide rather than at home? Do our private corporations and entrepreneurs want easy life and easy pickings ie underwritten by government contracts or government investment partnerships?

I'm not sure we have the vision to bring about significant structural change and success? Happy to be informed on this.
 
. . . It also asks the question why could we not find the investment ourselves? Are we investment pool poor? Are we overly risk averse or looking for tax breaks as a condition (like Dyson) Does our financial sector look the wrong way more interested in offshore funds to pick random ripe plums worldwide rather than at home? Do our private corporations and entrepreneurs want easy life and easy pickings ie underwritten by government contracts or government investment partnerships?

I'm not sure we have the vision to bring about significant structural change and success? Happy to be informed on this.
Those institutions within the UK responsible for investing in the manufacturing industry, are largely comprise of “Investment Funds” - usually related to (private) pension providers.

They take a VERY short-term view of their investments, which are dictated by the (manufacturing companies’) performance on the Stock Exchange.

That “performance” is of course related to profits distributed as share dividends.

UNFORTUNATELY . . . the profits do not always, just, reflect individual companies’ success in manufacturing. Those profits are (too) often subsidised with PROPEFRTY DEALS/ASSET STRIPPING

. . . did someone mention the BAEs (forced) acquisition of “British Leyland”, and the subsequent wholesale closure of manufacturing plants, and sale of land for development :( .
 

Yokel

LE
I thought that it was just Rover that was taken over by what was then British Aerospace - which was not really in the vehicle business. British Leyland was dead and buried by then?

The wider point about needing political leaders and financial institutions to move away from short term monetarism and to take decisions on a long term strategic basis, has been made many times - sadly.
 
I thought that it was just Rover that was taken over by what was then British Aerospace - which was not really in the vehicle business. British Leyland was dead and buried by then?

The wider point about needing political leaders and financial institutions to move away from short term monetarism and to take decisions on a long term strategic basis, has been made many times - sadly.

I think it was called Austin-Rover Group at that stage, not sure. I do remember BAe staff getting a new car every three months which must have helped the "sales" figures.
 
Those institutions within the UK responsible for investing in the manufacturing industry, are largely comprise of “Investment Funds” - usually related to (private) pension providers.

They take a VERY short-term view of their investments, which are dictated by the (manufacturing companies’) performance on the Stock Exchange.

That “performance” is of course related to profits distributed as share dividends.

UNFORTUNATELY . . . the profits do not always, just, reflect individual companies’ success in manufacturing. Those profits are (too) often subsidised with PROPEFRTY DEALS/ASSET STRIPPING

. . . did someone mention the BAEs (forced) acquisition of “British Leyland”, and the subsequent wholesale closure of manufacturing plants, and sale of land for development :( .
It was these muppets that sold everything off while getting a very nice pension pot

 

Yokel

LE
Another overview type article....

Factory output, employment and orders rising at fastest rate for almost 50 years - MTF MFG

Key findings

Output

  • Output volumes in the three months to July grew at the joint-fastest pace on record (+37% from +37% in June – record since 1995).
  • Output increased in 16 out of 17 sub-sectors, with headline growth being driven by the motor vehicles & transport equipment, and food, drink & tobacco sub-sectors.
  • Manufacturers expect output growth to accelerate further next quarter (+44%), marking the strongest expectations for growth on record.
  • The share of firms citing orders or sales as a factor to limit output next quarter fell to its lowest since 1974 (42%). However, the proportion of firms citing materials/components (56%), skilled labour (36%) or plant capacity (31%) as limiting factors stood at its highest since January 1975, July 1974, and January 1974, respectively.
Orders
  • Total new orders in the quarter to July grew at their quickest pace since January 1974 (+48% from +5% in April).
  • Domestic orders (+42%) expanded at the fastest pace on record (since April 1975), while export orders growth (+12%) stood at its quickest since July 2018.
  • Manufacturers expect total new orders growth to ease next quarter (+29%).
Headcount
  • Numbers employed in the quarter to July (+24% from +10% in April) grew at their quickest rate since October 1973. Headcounts are expected to increase at a slightly faster pace next quarter (+28%).
Costs and prices
  • Average costs growth in the quarter to July accelerated to its fastest since April 1980 (+73% from +48% in April). Costs growth is expected to ease next quarter, despite remaining quick by historical standards (+56%).
  • Average domestic prices grew in the quarter to July (+37% from +19% in April) at the quickest rate since April 1980, and growth is expected to accelerate further next quarter (+42%). Average export prices grew in the quarter to July (+18% from +10% in April) at the fastest pace since July 2017, but growth is expected to slow next quarter (+11%).
Stocks
  • Stocks of raw materials (+15% from +2% in April) and work in progress (+20% from +3%) in the quarter to July grew at a faster pace. Stocks of finished goods remained broadly flat (+3% from +4% in April).
  • Manufacturers expect stocks of raw materials (+16%) and work in progress (+20%) to grow at similar rates next quarter, while stocks of finished goods are anticipated to expand modestly (+5%).
Business sentiment
  • Business optimism growth slowed in the quarter to July (+27 from +38 in April).
Investment intentions
  • Investment intentions for the next 12 months (compared with the previous 12) improved for plant & machinery (strongest since April 1988) and training & retraining (strongest since January 2015).
  • Firms expect to spend more on product & process innovation but to a lesser degree than last quarter, while spending on buildings is set to stay broadly unchanged.
  • The share of firms citing inadequate net returns (21%) as a factor to limit capex fell to its lowest on record, while the proportion citing uncertainty about demand (43%) dropped to its lowest since April 2014.
 
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@RCT(V) Did you or any of you family work there?
Guess what my answer will be
[drift]

I attempted to join "Austin-Rover" a couple of times during its evolution, and was eventually successful in being selected . . . after a VERY exhaustive selection process, held at their own "Country Manor". It had a couple of new steel pyramid conference rooms, in front of the house ?!

PM sent, to spare everyone else the details of my employment history ;) .

[/drift]
 

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